Krannert Center’s 50th season opens at high speed with the return of ELLNORA | The Guitar Festival and the Opening Night Party! Get ready to gather and groove as the entire community comes together for a night of exceptional music-making, fabulous food and drink, and all-ages amenities.
Slide in by 6pm when music begins with Toko Telo. This Madagascar-based supergroup features two of the country’s most renowned guitarists—D’Gary and Joël Rabesolo—who dazzle audiences on sparkling, island-inspired folk compositions in the tsapiky, jihe, and beko styles that glitter with the soulful vocals of Monika Njava. (Catch Toko Telo again at 7:30pm.)
At 6:30pm, enjoy a sizzling set of tichumaren (North African desert blues) from Niger-born artist Bombino. He says of his Sahara homeland that “sound and music there carries a power with it, so you get the feeling when you’re holding an instrument in your hand and playing it, you’re completing a picture that was otherwise incomplete” (The New York Times).
A pair of ELLNORA alums takes to the stage at 8pm. Long-time Krannert Center collaborator Luther Dickinson frequents the “best of” lists in the guitar world and garners devotion for his powerful slide style, exceptional songwriting, and deep connection to the music of Memphis. Kansas City-born guitarist/singer/songwriter Samantha Fish continues her meteoric rise as a blues artist who really knows how to rock. Together with Fish‘s band, you can expect them to deliver an over-the-top Opening Night Party finale to remember.
- Food sales begin and doors open at 5:30pm.
- Toko Telo, 6pm and 7:30pm—Amphitheatre (rain location Studio Theatre)
- Bombino, 6:30pm, Lobby—Stage 6
- Samantha Fish with Luther Dickinson, 8pm, Lobby—Stage 6
Following the Opening Night Party, head to the Studio Theatre at 9:30pm for Spontaneous Combustion, a late-night, ticketed set featuring a powerhouse lineup of six-string practitioners.
With deep gratitude, Krannert Center thanks all Patron Sponsors and Corporate and Community Sponsors.
If you believe in the life-affirming experiences that Krannert Center and the performing arts at Illinois make possible, please make a gift: email@example.com, KrannertCenter.com/Give, or faa.illinois.edu/giving.